“The unexamined life is not worth living.” –Socrates

Our knowledge of the great Socrates is chiefly due to the works of his one time pupil Plato.
Socrates was an itinerant philosopher who taught by way of public discussion and oratory;
strangely he never wrote any philosophical works of his own.

Socrates, unique and distinctive from Greek philosophers before him, was less concerned with
metaphysical thoughts than with practical questions of how we should live, and what the good life for
man may be. Interestingly, Socrates is hailed as the philosopher who gave birth to the philosophy
known as ethics.

It is Socrates deep concern for ethical matters that led him into conflict with city leaders
of Athens, who accused Socrates of corrupting the minds of the youth in Athens. Socrates was loved
by the city’s aristocratic young people. Socrates proved to be the first maverick philosopher who so often upset the system leadership. At every chance Socrates would claim to his interlocutors the
only thing he was certain of was his own ignorance.

Socrates is widely considered the founder of Western Philosophy; still today, the Socratic Method,
is still used by professors in many law schools , and is based on Socrates aggressive style of questioning his students.

Socrates was predominantly interested in the moral questions that affect our lives, such as what is just, courageous, and good.

At the age of seventy Socrates was put on trial on charges of corrupting the youth.
Socrates mocked the court and in his characteristic style he robustly defended himself,
displaying supreme intelligence and wit and all the while making his accusers look absurd before
the public.
The city leaders were outraged and demanded Socrates be put to death by drinking hemlock.
Socrates unperturbed forbade his family and friends for asking for a pardon on his behalf.
The great Socrates was put to death, but his prized student, Plato kept the teachings of
Socrates alive in his dialogues Apology, Crito and Phaedo.

Again, Plato deserves all credit in preserving his mentor’s legacy and importance.

Charles Micheaux
Micheaux Publishing

You can watch Oscar Micheaux films @ YouTube.


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